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The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development is taking a major step forward to better serve employees and employers through modernization of the unemployment insurance system.
DWD has selected Flexion Inc., a Wisconsin company, to identify and implement software, hardware and service delivery process improvements. The contract represents one aspect of DWD's multifaceted approach to iteratively replace outdated computer systems, integrate new technology, overhaul training, review staff deployment, and reinforce the agency's focus on a thriving Wisconsin economy.
The Department of Workforce Development's Unemployment Insurance system modernization efforts are taking another step forward with the implementation of its first product in the form of a benefit estimator. With this release, a modern benefit estimator is available with a comparison tool validating the results to the existing system. The UI modernization team will continue to expand the benefit calculation engine to address increasingly complex unemployment insurance claims. On Sept. 20, 2022, DWD released the Benefit Estimator Calculator video, which showcases the value of the development work underway.
The recent implementation of the new benefit estimator is a successful first step in helping DWD staff members more quickly, accurately, and effectively support Wisconsin residents now – and into the future.
DWD/DOA Legislative Update (pending approval)
DWD's contract with Flexion will focus on the introduction of phased solutions to modernize Wisconsin's unemployment insurance system. The project will involve tackling legacy IT systems that date from the 1970s.
Flexion will build an adaptive system with modern, user-centered applications to deliver industry-leading results for the benefit of workers and employers throughout Wisconsin. The project will include development of maintainable infrastructure in addition to off-the-shelf software, cloud-based solutions and custom software development.
The goal of this project is to create a more maintainable, sustainable system for UI services. Over time, the project will entirely replace the mainframe, which has limitations in terms of staffing and recruiting resources and in the availability of the system.
The future UI system will provide end-to-end services to DWD customers (claimants and employers) in a timely manner. DWD staff will be able to administer programs inclusively and efficiently, with modern online tools.
DWD's technology will be up-to-date and adaptable for new or changing programs. Customers will be able to easily get the support they need, in the way they need it, through an automated system or direct interaction with DWD staff.
An important part of the design is to provide more options for communication and question resolution using an omnichannel communication approach. The system also will provide more self-service options (including chatbot and virtual agents) and clearer communication to claimants and employers.
The contract represents one aspect of DWD's multifaceted approach to iteratively replace outdated computer systems, integrate new technology, overhaul training, review staff deployment, and reinforce DWD's mission-driven focus on a thriving Wisconsin economy.
In recent months, DWD has announced partnerships with Google Cloud Platform to expedite processing of unemployment insurance claims; NICE CXone to deploy a cloud-based customer contact platform, and a Tiger Team from the U.S. Department of Labor to evaluate systems and expand fraud prevention efforts.
DWD is also making it easier for Wisconsinites to file for UI benefits by updating the language for both its initial and weekly UI claim applications to feature "plain language" as much as possible. DWD also unveiled an upgraded claims portal that features better functionality and new features, including secure document upload, a message center for direct communication from claims specialists and adjudicators, text notifications, and a mobile friendly design.